Celebrations for Bulldogs

GNOWANGERUP Football Club will be celebrating 100 years since their first official season in 1917 on August 19.

To celebrate the occasion, the club will be playing their final game for the season and will use the end-of-season wrap-up as the big shindig.

During the league game against Newdegate, an oval-side bar and marquee will be available to players both past and present as well as club sponsors.

Club president Lachlan Lewis said the night will be a chance for old players to reminisce about the old days, and for locals to celebrate their club’s history.

“It’s a pretty special occasion to celebrate,” he said.

“We’ve had heaps of calls this year about the centenary, and we hope this will live up to the excitement.

“We’ve had heaps of interest from past players, so it’ll be a great opportunity to have a reunion of sorts.”

Plenty of old GFC memorabilia will be on display, as well as a helmsman style auction for 25 centenary jumpers that the club has been wearing this season.

The club will be catering for all generations on the night, with Perth band HUGE performing as well.

GFC would like to urge Gnowangerup locals to attend the celebration.

Additional information is available on their Facebook page.

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Albany’s tradie ninja

SAM Goodall might just be Albany’s favourite tradie.

His claim to newfound fame is his appearance on Australian Ninja Warrior and his progression through to the television show’s grand final.

Fans of the show would recognise Sam from his signature tradie gear; high-vis shirt, socks, and his tradie jocks.

Sam built himself a miniature course on his property to train for the Ninja Warrior course.

“I pretty much did as many chin ups as I could,” he said.

Unfortunately for Sam, he only got as far as grand final’s stage one; however, that’s not stopping him from applying for the next season.

“The semi-final was my best performance,” he said.

“It’s a challenging course and you feel pretty small next to it.

“I told my daughter I would get to the top of Mount Midoriyama, so I have to apply for next year.”

Sam suffered a major blow almost four years ago after breaking his leg in an off-road motorcycle accident.

“I didn’t work for two years and I couldn’t walk properly for a year,” he said.

“I was worried if my leg would last in the competition, but it’s much stronger than it was.”

Australian Ninja Warrior drew controversy in its grand final, with none of the nine competitors finishing stage two and no one actually winning the first season.

Don’t worry, Ninja fans, the show will be back next year, and applications are open until September 3.

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NAIDOC Week footy

THE Southern Districts Junior Football Football Association celebrated its NAIDOC round on Saturday.

Players and coaches at Albany fixtures gathered before their matches to hear words of encouragement from local Noongar sportsman Graeme Simpson, who also played the didgeridoo.

Simpson encouraged the young footballers to think about what it meant to play together as close teammates, particularly in the wintery conditions.

He said that playing sport offered a great opportunity to bring people together “on a level playing field”.

The centre circles of the playing fields were painted in red, black and gold to mark the occasion, and teams were provided with the opportunity of putting forward indigenous players as captains for the coin toss.

The round, developed as part of NAIDOC celebrations, also celebrates the effort of past and present indigenous players.

Denmark’s junior footballers will celebrate their NAIDOC round this weekend.

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GSG girls gallop for gold

SELECTED Great Southern Grammar equestrian students will represent WA in Queensland in September for the 2017 Australian Interschool Equestrian Championships.

To secure a place in the championships, Evangeline Milne, Bella Rae, Satinka Putland, Georgia O’Meara and Olivia Miller competed against schools from across Western Australia and secured awards for Champion Country School, Champion Overall Secondary School and Champion Country Rider.

The secondary students have years of combined experience in equestrian performance between them, and continue to prove their talent with multiple state titles under their belts.

“I have been doing dressage since I was eight, began competing at state level with my club at 11, and started equestrian with Great Southern Grammar when I was 12,” Satinka Putland said.

“This is my first overall championship and I am very excited.”

GSG principal Mark Sawle said he was very proud of the students, who exceeded expectations to take out multiple awards.

“The girls have carried themselves very well and have inspired other students to pursue their goals,” he said. “This team will represent both our school and the state, which we are very proud of.”

The equestrian program is offered to year nine to 12 students at Great Southern Grammar and has been running since 2007.

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Future soccer stars learn from the best

YOUNG aspiring soccer stars had their dreams come true last week with a J & J Football Training clinic featuring international football powerhouse Branko Jelic and UEFA pro-diploma accredited coach Adi Juric.

Set over three days, the clinic saw 60 soccer fanatics ranging from five to 16 years of age developing basic soccer techniques, agility and leadership qualities.

Juric said the training clinic had been brought to Albany simply by local interest and support.

“We ran a clinic at Easter with about 30 kids which was successful, so we put out an expression of interest three weeks ago to see whether people would be interested in another clinic,” he said.

“We had 60 boys and girls express their interest, hence we are here today.”

J & J Football Training clinics are being asked to come back to Albany in September, and are also looking at the possibility of a clinic at Christmas time.

“We have been told by locals that we have become part of Albany, we aren’t just visitors,” Juric said.

With nine 45-minute sessions over the course of the clinic, Juric said the key to football training was intensity.

“We are very intense. There is no point in being light. International training is tough and we want to give the children a hint of what training is like at a national and international level,” Juric said.

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ASHS Country Week spirit

AN EXHILARATING week of sports saw Albany Senior High School take second place overall in the 2017 Senior High Schools Country Week in Perth last week.

A mere four points separated notorious rivals Bunbury Senior High School and ASHS for first place. GSG placed third, 31 points behind ASHS.

Coordinated by School Sport WA, Great Southern secondary students from ASHS, NASHS, Great Southern Grammar, Mount Barker Community College, Katanning SHS and Denmark High School joined regional students from across Western Australia at Country Week.

Students participated in basketball, dance, football, hockey, netball, soccer, speech and debating, touch rugby and volleyball.

ASHS Principal Jenny Firth said she was proud of the ASHS students and community efforts over the week.

“Our strength is definitely in utilising community coaches whose skills and

expertise have allowed our students to develop great techniques,” Ms Firth said.

“We are very appreciative of the Albany community.”

Ms Firth said that ASHS students again proved they were not a team of champions, but a champion team.

“A dramatic final from the girls AFL and impressive performances from our dance team were some of the highlights of the week; however, our strengths in soccer and hockey shone through,” she said.

Wins for Albany Senior High School included boys and girls AFL, boys soccer, mixed touch rug- by, girls basketball and boys volleyball.

Boys soccer captain Scott Fielding said students proved their worth with persistence and stamina.

“Everyone gave 100 percent every day in every game,” Scott said.

“They embraced the ASHS Country Week spirit and pushed through the fatigue and pain to do our school proud.”
Results from other Great Southern teams included medals for North Albany Senior High School across sports, with gold in boys B division soccer, girls C division soccer and girls D division basketball.

GSG brought home medals for boys A divi- sion basketball and were the champion school for speech and debating.

Mount Barker Community College was represented by a small squad and were awarded second in boys D division soccer and third in boys D division volleyball.

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Jordan kicks a goal for Great Southern

ALBANY’s Jordan Clark was the only player from the Great Southern to play for WA in the state 17s football fixture against South Australia at Arena Joondalup last weekend.

He scored one goal for WA, with 14 possessions and eight tackles to his credit, moving from the midfield to the forward line in the last quarter.

Jordan said he was proud to wear the state jumper again.

“It’s such a great opportunity that so many kids miss out on,” he said.

“Having the chance to represent your state is a proud achievement that I don’t take for granted. “My performance from my perspective was solid and well rounded.”

In a tight match, SA ran out winners 13.7 (85) to WA 10.10 (76).

The game was Jordan’s fourth for WA, following three games for the WA State 16s in 2016.

He was the competition’s only player from the Great Southern this year in the 16s, 17s and 18s age groups.

Now a year 11 boarder at Guildford Grammar, Jordan is also a cricket international.

He represented Australia in the under 16s against Pakistan in Dubai, where he collected five wickets, including a hat trick.

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Katanning sports leader recognised

THE tireless hours spent organising sporting associations and events by local Katanning resident Tania Wolfe was recognised last week when she was awarded the Mike Stidwell medal.

Approximately 70 guests attended the presentation night at the new Centennial Stadium on Wednesday.

The Mike Stidwell medal seeks to acknowledge a person who has performed outstanding service to sport and recreation administration in the Great Southern region.

Mike Stidwell was the regional manager of the ministry of sport and recreation from 1979 to 2000, and his memory of selfless, long-term contributions to sport and recreation lives on with the presentation of this award.

Ms Wolfe’s contributions included working with the Katanning Junior and Senior Basketball Associations, the Katanning Squash Club, the Katanning and Wagin Swim Clubs, the Australs and Wanderers Football Clubs, the Katanning Netball Association, the Olympians Netball Group, the Katanning Gymnastics Club and the Katanning Badminton Group.

Coach extraordinaire Ric Charlesworth was the guest speaker at the event.

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Memorial to north

NORTH Albany claimed the annual Jo Burling Memorial match over Spencer Park, 3-1 in Saturday’s Lower Great Southern Hockey Association women’s A grade match.

The annual fixture which commemorates Burling’s contribution to hockey in the Great Southern is one of the highlights in the association’s cancer awareness round. After an even start to the match, North Albany broke the deadlock 20 minutes into the first half and followed it up with another goal just five minutes later.

With the match slipping away, Park, sporting pink playing tops for the occasion, increased their intensity and replied with a goal from Kirby Williams before half-time to edge back the score to 2-1.

Tallulah Gouldthorp sealed the result with her second goal to hand North Albany the 3-1 victory.

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Sharks lose their bite

ON Sunday, North Albany were looking to build on the momentum gained last week when their first win of the season saw them beat Albany at Centennial Stadium.

The reigning premiers ran out of that match convincing winners by 105 points.

Heading into this round three game against Albany Sharks, North Albany were forced to make a number of changes; Dom Knight, Luke Cameron had both suffered injuries against the Magpies while Matt Orzel was rested.

This opened the door for the premiers to debut Taj Williams, Kohen Lemin, Angus McKercher and Tom Bigwood.

On a warm day and in front of a decent-sized crowd, North Albany made a strong start to the game hitting the scoreboard first.

It was then a hard-fought first quarter with both sides applying great pressure.

The visitors came out on top at the siren, to go in at the first change up 16 points, 4.6 (30) to 2.2 (14).

Sharks started the second quarter as they had finished the first – by kicking the first major when Shaquille Narrier slotted one through from a tight angle.

However, the Kangas found their aim and kicked six goals straight to two one and finished the term 10.6 (66) to 4.3 (27).

After the long break North Albany had much of the play and although they made the Sharks pay by adding another six goals they also added eight behinds. So possessive of the ball were the Kangas, that the Sharks were only able to add two behinds to their score.

It was damage limitations in the final quarter for the home side in the hope they didn’t suffer a third consecutive lost by 100 points or more.

This wasn’t to be as North Albany once again contained the ball allowing Sharks just one scoring shot – a goal, while adding another six goals six to win 5.5 (35) to 20.20 (140).

The match produced a long list of goal-scorers for the red and white side with 11 different names.

Jake Becroft was top with five followed by Corey Hitchcock with two. The former along with Grant Corcoran and Jack Mcphee featured in the winning side’s best.

For the home side, Shaquille Narrier kicked four of the team’s five goals with Michael Simpson getting the other.

Narrier took home the Best on Ground for Sharks with Fraser Eaton and James Eaton also stand-out performers.

In last Saturday’s games, Railways headed down to McLean Park to take on Denmark-Walpole.

After a poor first term, trailing by 25 points, they came away with a 49-point win, 19.12 (126) to 12.7 (79). Coen Marwick had a good day out with six goals.

Unbeaten sides Royals and Mt Barker faced off at Centennial Stadium with the Lions gaining the upper hand early and never really gave last year’s grand finalists a chance, winning 8.14 (62) to 4.3 (27). Samuel Baddeley-Holmes was the only multiple goal-scorer of the match, kicking four.

This weekend’s matches will be highlighted by the grand final rematch between North Albany and Mt Barker at Collingwood Park on Sunday.

There will be two Saturday games.

Denmark-Walpole will be looking to cause an upset when they host Royals, and Railways will take on Albany at Tigerland.

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